You may have noticed that today has been a bit shitty here on Skepchick. We owe it all to our little sister site, Mad Art Lab, where Ryan posted this article about boobplates that seemed to attract a lot of attention. Way to ruin everything with your brilliance, Ryan!

Luckily, Ryan’s Mad Art Lab co-contributor Maggie rolled up her sleeves and rebuilt the server by hand. Practically. It was amazing. Anyway, we’re back up for the time being and as apology and thanks for your patience (and for those of you who helped us load test just now), I give you a photo I just took of my cats mere moments after Brendon (the brown stripey one) vampire attacked Fry (the one with the white). The caption is: HERP DERP, which is also the caption of today’s outage.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org and appears on the weekly Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcast. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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14 Comments

  1. Profile photo of DrJen
    December 17, 2011 at 12:24 am —

    Okay…Ryan took blame as the breaker of the site tonight, but not being internet savvy (said, albeit inappropriately) with a bit of a lilt as per Cap’n Jack Sparrow), I’m curious as to how does something like this happen? Was it the number of graphics? There were only a handful of comments. His post did make me happy. I have nothing against the odd nekked lady or buffed gent in video games, but it has been fun to run around Skyrim and not pay attention to which gender I was playing, except when they were addressing me by the appropriate self-selected pronoun.

  2. Profile photo of maggie
    December 17, 2011 at 12:52 am —

    @DrJen We got slammed. You wouldn’t believe how much traffic that post generated… It was linked from Reddit and gaming sites and all manner of places and we got buried in hits. And it didn’t really let up. Eventually the webserver was overwhelmed and the web host was too.

    We tweaked some things that needed tweaking and we’re mostly back to normal [for now]. But tomorrow I’m going to reassess things and we’ll go from there. I need to let it simmer a bit and see how the load looks in the morning. There may still be work to do to future-proof the Skepchick network of sites.

    Thankfully, Rebecca’s cats were adorable and kept her calm under pressure. And thankfully I had pizza and a nice lambic. :)

  3. Profile photo of maggie
    December 17, 2011 at 12:53 am —

    BTW – It’s STILL being linked to on new twitter posts. So… it’s not over yet. heh

    • Profile photo of dr. dr. professor
      December 17, 2011 at 9:03 am —

      Yeah I was kinda wondering if you guys were getting DDOSed.

      Are you running a shared server or a dedicated server? And how did you manage to balance the load?

      I’ve run a few Facebook games now and I think when you’re running an online service, getting DDoSed by your fans is a right of passage.

      Glad your wizard skills were available in this time of need!

  4. Profile photo of DrJen
    December 17, 2011 at 1:12 am —

    Wow…the surges are impressive. I’m amazed at the amount of traffic certain posts draw. It’s also interesting to compare the *relatively* small scope to what TV/movies draw in. On the one hand, dealing with thousands of folk vs an audience of millions; on the other hand, dealing with thousands of folk, many/most of whom you could personally identify ny face/name vs. millions who are anonymous.

  5. Profile photo of Anne S
    December 17, 2011 at 2:22 am —

    Maggie = Superwoman

  6. Profile photo of davidh
    December 17, 2011 at 2:28 am —

    Well done, Maggie :)

    It’s rather worrying that in the way things work today, the worst thing that can happen to a website is to post something so great everybody wants to see it. The fact we all just nod our head and accept this says something about the strange state we’re in.

    In any case, that’s one of the funniest cat photos I’ve seen all week!

    • Profile photo of dr. dr. professor
      December 17, 2011 at 9:07 am —

      But it happens to everyone who does something interesting :). And it’s always the point where you say “hmmm, our plan to handle high load was COMPLETELY inadequate” and in 36 hours, you have designed an amazing new system to balance load.

  7. Profile photo of BeardofPants
    December 17, 2011 at 2:30 am —

    What?? No modesty patch? Put it away, Fry!

  8. Profile photo of nin_shark
    December 17, 2011 at 2:36 am —

    catbutt (’cause you always need more)

    …and happy it got sorted and Mags ftw (is that ok? I think ‘Mags’ is pretty kick ass for a nickname…won’t do it again if it’s not though)

  9. Profile photo of Donna
    December 17, 2011 at 3:40 am —

    All hail, Rebecca and Maggie for dealing with today’s onslaught. We at Mad Art Lab salute you! I guess we have to be a little more careful and considerate with our plans for world domination. Tea and scones, anyone?

  10. Profile photo of maggie
    December 17, 2011 at 12:42 pm —

    Stop it. It’s embarrassin’!

  11. Profile photo of Brian G
    December 17, 2011 at 10:58 pm —

    That was a fun day, in a way. Maggie and Rebecca were tearin’ shit up, puttin’ it back together, all while chompin’ on cigars and cursin’ like sailors. Was glorious to behold.

  12. Profile photo of Horror Monkey
    December 19, 2011 at 10:02 pm —

    I love the picture of your cats, Rebecca. Brendon looks like he is thinking to himself, “You fool! You should have known not to lie next to me on the couch, my throne!” and Fry looks like he (she?) is thinking, as he is awkwardly flailing, “What the hell just happened?”

    I have a cat named Fry, too. My Fry, however, is a black long-haired cat.

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